Focus Features | Release Date: August 31, 2005
7.0
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 263 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
171
Mixed:
44
Negative:
48
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5
thegr8estFeb 11, 2006
The anti war stance must have been why this movie got such great critical acclaim. From the motion sickness I got from the bobbing camera to pressing my ear to the speaker to hear the dialogue only to be blasted by the next scene, I was The anti war stance must have been why this movie got such great critical acclaim. From the motion sickness I got from the bobbing camera to pressing my ear to the speaker to hear the dialogue only to be blasted by the next scene, I was mildly entertained. Expand
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9
TimK.Feb 16, 2006
Gripping, suspenseful, nuanced, real. Another fabulous Ralph Fiennes movie.
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4
BurkeFeb 3, 2006
Odd that this is so well rated by the professionals. I made it through the first hour and then gave up. Disjointed, badly photographed, oddly paced, bloody slow (at least through the hour I survived), and as nuanced as being hit with a Odd that this is so well rated by the professionals. I made it through the first hour and then gave up. Disjointed, badly photographed, oddly paced, bloody slow (at least through the hour I survived), and as nuanced as being hit with a hammer. Unfortunately, I suspect this movie rates so high because most reviewers like its political stance (especially the early anti-war monologue), rather than its actual merits as a movie. Odd that Lord of War, which is theoretically just a big dumb action movie, is slightly more nuanced. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
ANApr 28, 2006
I disagree with all of you. It is a moving romance sorty, involiving some of the best actors. It presents the terrible side of politics, hiding everything from the public. It shows how badly the poor Africans are treated. It is magnificent, I disagree with all of you. It is a moving romance sorty, involiving some of the best actors. It presents the terrible side of politics, hiding everything from the public. It shows how badly the poor Africans are treated. It is magnificent, beautifully filmed. Exactly what it should be. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
MikeR.Feb 18, 2007
This was the SLOWEST MOST BORING movie I have ever seen. If you didn't see the movie I'll save you two hours. Drug companies are bad. There that's it, that's all the movie had to say. Terrible movie.
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8
JudithH.Feb 25, 2007
A good, rather than a great film, but I'm surprised few people have mentioned the novel. There were some strange decisions made in the adaptation, such as NOT including Lara, the beautiful Russian scientist. And now I've typed that A good, rather than a great film, but I'm surprised few people have mentioned the novel. There were some strange decisions made in the adaptation, such as NOT including Lara, the beautiful Russian scientist. And now I've typed that I can see why not - it sounds too James Bond. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
RirenMar 17, 2007
International pharmaceutical companies have been exploiting poor Africans in need of medicine for decades in order to test their drugs, regardless of their potentially crippling or lethal side effects. If the preceding sentence interested International pharmaceutical companies have been exploiting poor Africans in need of medicine for decades in order to test their drugs, regardless of their potentially crippling or lethal side effects. If the preceding sentence interested you, read a book about it. Don't see this movie. It's neither informative, nor an actually good film. The first half hour is a nearly incomprehensible exercise in flashbacks and flash forwards, setting up a disconnected chronology to excuse all the later scenes in the film from having to occur along a realistic timeline. It works with the naivety of an action movie, but reaches insultingly for the depths of a conspiracy movie, and comes away with the satisfaction of neither. It decomposes into sentimental trash by the end, with its great cast Expand
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5
MikeG.Nov 12, 2005
Interesting for a while, but the movie never decides what it wants to be. It's a love story! It's an intrigue! It's a condemnation of the pharmaceutical industry! All three elements are interesting at times, but the movie Interesting for a while, but the movie never decides what it wants to be. It's a love story! It's an intrigue! It's a condemnation of the pharmaceutical industry! All three elements are interesting at times, but the movie never seems to cohere around any particular theme, and the result is a movie that drags in the middle and fizzles out at the end. You can see the climax coming and, when it does, there's a fizzle rather than a pop. That's a big problem for a movie like "Gardner", which needed more excitement and less verbosity. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
AdrianNov 16, 2005
Awful but beatiful scenery.
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2
wesleyNov 17, 2005
I give it 2 points for putting me to sleep. No chemistry and ridculous plot. He didn't know his wife when she was alive but after she died he became interested? Give me a break.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
MarileeB.Nov 2, 2005
So earnest... so predictable, as most films about Africa are when made by caucasions. We must see the venal bad Africans undermine the earnest white aid workers... and their few saintly African helpers. I would have given it a lower score, So earnest... so predictable, as most films about Africa are when made by caucasions. We must see the venal bad Africans undermine the earnest white aid workers... and their few saintly African helpers. I would have given it a lower score, but the acting was good. Weisz and Fiennes were good, but their mannered performances were exceeded by the always excellent Pete Postlethwaite in a small but pivotal supporting role. He gave great natural complexity to his character. Expand
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7
PaulHNov 22, 2005

It took a while for me to get into it, but eventually it won me over, mostley due to the wonderful performance by Fiennes.
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9
NigelP.Nov 28, 2005
An excellent portrail of the West's exploitation of Africa. Superb acting, brilliant scenery and great plot. Was hooked all the way through, and would thoroughly recommend this film to anyone.
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9
RichardJ.Nov 29, 2005
Beautifully shot film of a superb Carre novel. Fiennes' acting was (as usual) very good, but he was supported by a great crowd of other actors. Well worth seeing.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
oscarNov 3, 2005
This movie was a terrible one. The premise and shots of Africa were great, but the characters were unlikeable and the cinematography was unwatchable. Halfway through the movie I found myself neither caring nor wondering why Tessa was This movie was a terrible one. The premise and shots of Africa were great, but the characters were unlikeable and the cinematography was unwatchable. Halfway through the movie I found myself neither caring nor wondering why Tessa was murdered. I just wanted it to end. Sad really because the story of what big pharmaceuticals may or may not be doing in Africa is worthy of interest. Chalk this one up to the critics liking something different because good this movie is not. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
yvonneOct 14, 2005
If you love to watch moss grow on a rock or paint dry then this is the movie for you. Otherwise stay away from this boring moronic sorry excuse for an action movie. A slide show would have been better. This movie crawls along at a snails If you love to watch moss grow on a rock or paint dry then this is the movie for you. Otherwise stay away from this boring moronic sorry excuse for an action movie. A slide show would have been better. This movie crawls along at a snails pace and is preposterous. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
PerspicaciousCriticDec 1, 2005
If I'm to judge this as a romantic thriller, I would say The Constant Gardener is a good film. If I'm to judge this as a thriller/romance, I would say it was a disappointment.
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10
robertd.Oct 28, 2005
Stunning backdrop for a nasty tale.
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10
PaulA.Sep 12, 2005
Simply a great film...truly what filmmaking should be about: commenting on the human condition while entertaining.
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6
CriticsRmadSep 16, 2005
The relationship between the two characters was touching and believable, but the movie as a whole was okay. Very slow, with a seemingly simple plot played over 2+ hrs.
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3
GeoSep 17, 2005
Having a 60's-style raging "I'll fight for everybody's rights, even if it gets me killed"-activist married to a conservative, British diplomat, is as implausible, as it is impractical as a device that drives the story - it Having a 60's-style raging "I'll fight for everybody's rights, even if it gets me killed"-activist married to a conservative, British diplomat, is as implausible, as it is impractical as a device that drives the story - it makes everything predictable in a crass, boring, no-surprises-left way. The raw, deliberately shakey camera work , and very quick cuts try to create visual tension, and extreme closeups that drive most indoor scenes project the feeling of oppressivenes. All of this fancy shooting might work, if the plot was actually dynamic or suspenseful. But since it is not, all the camera fireworks seem fake, "artsy," and gimmicky attempts to give the coveted "arthouse movie" feel to an otherwise plodding, boring, and largely predictable production. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
1
EdwardTM.Sep 18, 2005
I give it a 1 only for the cinematography. I am shocked and amazed at the scores this unbelievably horrible film is getting. What does anyone see in this? The narrative is rambling and incoherent, the characters are phenomonally unlikeable I give it a 1 only for the cinematography. I am shocked and amazed at the scores this unbelievably horrible film is getting. What does anyone see in this? The narrative is rambling and incoherent, the characters are phenomonally unlikeable and the plot is messier than the sink at the Burger King on Saturday night. Could some explain to me what was to like? The female charachter was such a piece of dreck I am at a sincere loss as to why anyone in the film would find any single thing to like, or even admire, about her. I think the sentiment for anti-globalization has washed over everyone's brains and led them to believe they have seen a good movie. Good subject, bad movie. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JackM.Sep 18, 2005
A fabulous, beautiful film which never shrinks from telling difficult truths. An absolute masterpiece -- don't miss it!
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10
WayneW.Sep 19, 2005
Hands down, the best film I've seen in 2005. Finally, something worth seeing in the theater. This movie is so rich and detailed I'm going to see it a second time, and it will be a must-own when it comes out on DVD. Jeffrey Hands down, the best film I've seen in 2005. Finally, something worth seeing in the theater. This movie is so rich and detailed I'm going to see it a second time, and it will be a must-own when it comes out on DVD. Jeffrey Caine's screenplay is positively terrific, and Fernando Meirelles's direction is fantastic. Top-notch performances from Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz. Don't miss it! Expand
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10
DaveH.Sep 19, 2005
Astounding and breathtaking and terrifying. I was holding my breath through some scenes because it was so intense. It's even better than the last film Fernando Meirelles directed, "City of God." Ralph Fiennes is in top form.
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10
WilbertW.Sep 22, 2005
Thoughtful, subtle and provacative. A pleasure to contemplate this intelligent and cynical film.
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10
GinaA.Sep 24, 2005
Absolutely fantastic. A beautiful, complex film that blooms with skillful directing, innovative editing, and sterling performances. One of the best movies I've seen in years.
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6
JudyT.Sep 24, 2005
So, so as a thriller. Bad as a romance. I didn't connect with these two are lovers.
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9
AnnC.Sep 28, 2005
One of the best films I've seen in a while.
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10
SandeepK.Jan 14, 2006
This movie is to remain my personal favorite for a long time to come. Deftly made with its heart in the right place, the film awakens the ignorant and apathetic mind to a harsh, bitter sweet reality. The plight of Africa is again underscored This movie is to remain my personal favorite for a long time to come. Deftly made with its heart in the right place, the film awakens the ignorant and apathetic mind to a harsh, bitter sweet reality. The plight of Africa is again underscored in this work, although I feel that it would take more than mainstream movies to expand the narrow horizons of the common man steeped in the tar of consumerism. Media is definitely the way to go though. Expand
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6
GregT.Jan 24, 2006
Fiennes and Weisz perform admirably and energetically. But I was not engaged during this movie. Critics state that this movie is all about "intrigue and romance". There is no intrigue here because every movie about Africa has the same theme Fiennes and Weisz perform admirably and energetically. But I was not engaged during this movie. Critics state that this movie is all about "intrigue and romance". There is no intrigue here because every movie about Africa has the same theme - the corruption of African Governments, the corruption of any company that does business in Africa, continual genocide and dog-eat-dog tribal warfare. This is not intriguing; It is a well established predictable movie format. Romance? The heroine treats her husband like a dense cousin visiting from Appalachia, not like a lover. She doesn't even remotely confide in him at any level. It also always amazes me that in these movies about Africa that the starving and panicky Africans are always desperately running towards airplanes which are dispensing parcels of food and foreign aid and yet these individuals are always somehow dressed to the nines in flowery and immaculate tribal gowns and festooned with not one necklace but 40 rows and rows of them. Presumably when one is starving and rushing to a plane for food, one dons one's best wardrobe and jewellery beforehand, lest one not make a good impression on the North American viewers of this movie. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
JoeS.Feb 25, 2006
It's like being tied to a chair and hit on the head with a hammer while a political statement is repeated forcefully in your face. It gets a 2 only for the cinematography. The most serious accusations are made against "the drug It's like being tied to a chair and hit on the head with a hammer while a political statement is repeated forcefully in your face. It gets a 2 only for the cinematography. The most serious accusations are made against "the drug companies" without any evidence, as if they're facts. If it were just some fictional company in the story, that would be no problem. But this is one of those Michael Douglas-type movies where everyone _acts_ like "it's just a movie" but the viewer is obviously supposed to get the message that "this is how it really is." Suspicions, sentiments, and "feelings" are the only basis given for what we're asked to believe is a major international conspiracy. With all the reporters and newspapers out there looking for a big story, wouldn't someone expose that? Oh yeah- they'll be assassinated by the drug companies if they try. Pathetic. The other truly pathetic thing about this movie is, they're supposedly presenting a realistic picture of Africa, and it's somehow supposed to evoke sympathy. These people are supposedly starving and in dire poverty, yet virtually every one of them is running around in brightly colored, freshly cleaned new-looking clothes. Hard to believe professional filmmakers could be that stupid. Then again consider the movie they made. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
SteveP.Mar 31, 2006
This was the worst movie, that the academy awards clamed was good, that I every saw. What I hated the most was how the trailers for it depicted it as a cool mystery film about secret corporate practices in Africa, [***SPOILERS***] then you This was the worst movie, that the academy awards clamed was good, that I every saw. What I hated the most was how the trailers for it depicted it as a cool mystery film about secret corporate practices in Africa, [***SPOILERS***] then you watch it and find it to be a really stupid romance between a super liberal woman and a guy who Gardens Constantly. The story was my biggest complaint, they skip around so much that after a wile it seems less like a movie and more like a bunch of random pictures of Africa with some actors in it. They didn Expand
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0
[Anonymous]Aug 27, 2006
terrible, as unoriginal as discussing one's hatred for political correctness, don't see it, it sucks, i knew how it was going to end, within the first minute, but it didn't for a long long time.
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9
DanS.May 26, 2007
John Le Carre was by far my favorite narrator of how the Cold War corroded the humanity of everyone involved. The screen adaptations of his novels of those times, starting with the brilliant "Spy Who Came In From The Cold", showed clearly John Le Carre was by far my favorite narrator of how the Cold War corroded the humanity of everyone involved. The screen adaptations of his novels of those times, starting with the brilliant "Spy Who Came In From The Cold", showed clearly how most involved lost their idealism along the way...if they ever had any. They also explored so well about why and how decent people betray friendships and even love. "The Constant Gardener" tells us how far a huge pharmaceutical company will go to make more profits and, in any case, to cover up unethical, illegal practises when they go wrong. It has similar themes to Le Carre's earlier tales. The film was especially well-acted, with Fiennes and Weisz at their finest, while the cinematography and intelligent dialogue added a lot. Yet, I'm not surprised that the viewers gave this an average score of only 6.7, lower than the 82 by the critics. The basic premise of the tale is that the large pharmas will go so far as to murder those who are attempting reveal the cover-up. "Big pharma" these days have few fans outside Bush's White House, but it's really hard to imagine that they are up to assassinating those they fear. That's really seems to go too far. Yet, I can't bring myself to give this one a score of less than 9. Maybe it's because of Rachel Weisz, my nominee for the thinking man's heart throb. Maybe, like Le Carre, I'm just a sentimental old lefty. So I just can't help myself: "Honi soit qui mal y pense" (Evil to him who evil thinks.) Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
manuelp.Nov 18, 2005
The subject deserved a better filmmaking.
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0
AndrewT.Nov 29, 2005
I'm a sucker for 4 star movies, but I sat through a half hour of this movie, waiting for it to make sense, or to get more interesting, or something. They're in the past, the future, who knows? And who's that guy? How could I I'm a sucker for 4 star movies, but I sat through a half hour of this movie, waiting for it to make sense, or to get more interesting, or something. They're in the past, the future, who knows? And who's that guy? How could I have seen this much of the movie without knowing who anybody is? I walked out and caught 40yr Old Virgin instead. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
MikeW.Dec 11, 2005
Incredibly somber, real, and featuring a brilliant performance by Ralph Fiennes, The Constant Gardener is the best film of the year.
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8
SpangleJun 5, 2014
"The Constant Gardener" is a slow burning political thriller that is a little confusing in the first half, but as more and more gets revealed in the second half, things begin to make a lot more sense and the puzzle pieces really begin to come"The Constant Gardener" is a slow burning political thriller that is a little confusing in the first half, but as more and more gets revealed in the second half, things begin to make a lot more sense and the puzzle pieces really begin to come together. Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz are both great in this one, as expected. It is not hard to believe that Weisz won an Oscar for her performance here. The cinematography is also gorgeous as they were able to extract every bit of beauty they could out of their African location. As mentioned, this one is a tad slow, but it never really failed to have my attention. Throughout the film, I was completely hooked as I tried to follow every twist and turn before the big conclusion at the end. The great part about this one is that the second half really does explain much of what we see in the first half. It is a tad confusing, but the answers to any questions we have are ultimately provided and things begin to make a bit more sense. In addition, the film brings a lot of ethical concerns surrounding drug companies and their operations in Africa to the forefront, as you know the plot of this one is not too far-fetched. While the film was very thrilling, it also makes you feel a lot of empathy for those who are exploited in the name of medicine. Ultimately, "The Constant Gardener" is a good film with a strong plot, strong acting, and strong direction. Expand
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8
worleyjamersJun 7, 2013
The great political thriller of 2005. Rachel Wiesz is fantastic in her Oscar winning performance, she is excellent here. Great script and good editing. Well-done drama, one of the best of 2005. Nominated for 4 Academy Awards, The ConstantThe great political thriller of 2005. Rachel Wiesz is fantastic in her Oscar winning performance, she is excellent here. Great script and good editing. Well-done drama, one of the best of 2005. Nominated for 4 Academy Awards, The Constant Gardener is a must see. Expand
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